Curried Cauliflower with Cardamom and Mustard

posted: 06/30/10
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Curried Cauliflower with Cardamom and Mustard


  • 1 teaspoon/2 g black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon/2 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 Serrano chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon/5 g tamarind puree
  • 1 teaspoon/2 g ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml mustard oil
  • 1 onion, very thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds/900 g), cut into small florets


  1. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the mustard seeds and cardamom pods into a fine powder. Add the chili and garlic to the spices and crush to form a paste.
  2. Mix in the tamarind puree and turmeric, then the water to thin the paste and form a smooth sauce-like consistency. Heat the mustard oil in a heavy-based, large frying pan over a medium-to-high heat.
  3. Once the oil is almost smoking, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Sprinkle with some salt. Saut? for 4 minutes or until the onions are pale golden.
  4. Add the cauliflower and fry for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Drizzle the mustard sauce over the cauliflower and stir well to coat. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a medium-to-low. Cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cauliflower is nearly tender, the liquids have evaporated, and the mixture is dry.
  6. To prevent the cauliflower from sticking to the pan as it cooks, add a little more water. If there is still liquid in the pan after the cauliflower is tender, simmer without the lid until the excess liquid evaporates. Season with salt to taste and serve.
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